<p>As a mom of five, I know how fast the pillows can fly off the living room sofa, how toys can end up under the dining room table, and how wet towels often end up in heaps on the bathroom floor. But having kids doesn't mean you have to throw style out the window. Homes that are set up to be functional and kid-friendly can be beautiful places to live -- for everyone. These five decorating ideas make life easier for the little ones and give mom some peace of mind.</p>
Every mom knows that the life expectancy of a lamp in a house with kids goes way down. In our recent playroom makeover, I used lamps that turn on and off by touching the base. Easy for small hands that struggle with switches. Less chance of breakage or forever-crooked shades.
It's a fact of life: Kids have stuff. In the past, my attempts at organization often failed because I made it difficult for them to put it back the way I had it. Keep little toys and art supplies in easy-to-reach and easy-to-put-back bins or open baskets. And the less detailed, the better. I've found that if I sort it by general toy type (blocks, cars, art supplies, etc.), it's more likely to end up back in the right spot.
Substituting our bathroom towel bars for hooks has been a game changer in both the look of our bathroom and the amount of towels I'm washing on a weekly basis. Lower hooks are easy for little hands to reach. I added a few painted metal house numbers above ours.
Easy-to-manage furniture is key in kids' spaces. In our playroom, we added a low bookcase that doubles as a TV console and stores books, DVDs, and gaming equipment. Not only is it functional, but there's less worry about tipping should anybody get the idea to climb on top of it.
Bedtime reading is one of my favorite times of the day. A swing-arm lamp or sconce is great task lighting without the bulk of a lamp that might get knocked off of a nightstand. In our last home, we installed inexpensive plug-in wall lamps in our boys' room by each of the beds.